Kevin S. Newsome of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, passed away on February 7, 2023, after a quiet, yet resolute and ever-hopeful fight against cancer. He was 66 years old.
Kevin was born in El Paso, Texas, and grew up in Santa Cruz County, California. He graduated from San Lorenzo High School and Sonoma State University, where he played basketball, the ponies, and a bit of poker. In his younger days, Kevin explored the world without an itinerary—summers surfing in Hawaii and working on a tuna boat on the Pacific, trips through Europe, India, Thailand, the Philippines, and unforgettable moments with close friends at Grateful Dead shows, a drive across the country to the raucous infield of the Kentucky Derby, the Summer Olympics, and multiple NCAA Final Fours.
With a love of basketball and a passion and charm that resonated with kids and adults alike, Kevin was a successful coach from youth sports to the college ranks. After collegiate stops in Kansas and Minnesota, he took over a Wilmington College program in 1992 that had never had a winning record in the history of the school. In his first year, he guided the team to a league championship and a berth in the national tournament in Idaho. After moving to Gwynedd-Mercy College, Kevin won 1999 PAC Coach of the Year honors. He also spent several years coaching at Marple Newtown High School before shifting his focus to his family.
Off the court, Kevin was a physical education teacher for nearly 30 years at the Devereux School for Integrated Learning in West Chester. He coordinated the school’s participation in the Chester County Special Olympics for ice skating and track events, organized field days, lifeguarded, gave swim lessons, and helped students enjoy summers through fishing, boating, hiking, and craft activities at “Camp Cougar.” He enjoyed surprising his favorite campers and co-workers with donuts on summer mornings.
Kevin earned his master’s degree while coaching at Fort Hays State University in Kansas, and his principal’s certification during his time coaching at Gwynedd-Mercy College, when he met the love of his life, Carin, who was also enrolled in the program. To win her affection, Kevin brought his favorite books to class and left them on her desk, and a romance was born.
Kevin and Carin were married on the beach in 2001, and they have two children, Andrew and Ellie. Kevin loved being a husband and father, and nothing gave him greater joy than quality family time at home and within the local community—whether it was splashing in the pool at Swarthmore Swim Club, spending snow days sledding at Strath Haven, coaching youth basketball, baseball, and soccer or watching Andrew, now a freshman at the University of Vermont, play soccer and lacrosse at Strath Haven High School, or Ellie, a sophomore at Strath Haven, swim, play softball, soccer, lacrosse, and volleyball.
When not on the sidelines of his children’s sports, Kevin could be found playing poker and golf with friends in Chester County and Swarthmore; leaning on the fence at Strath Haven football games; sitting around a firepit talking music, fantasy baseball/football, and current events; watching movies and Masterpiece Theater; digging holes in the garden for Carin; at the stove making giant blueberry pancakes; chasing his dog Ginger around CADES field and Little Crum Creek Park; and most especially in his flip-flops and baseball hat on the beach in Cape May and the Kennebunks, with a newspaper or Michael Connelly book in hand.
Kevin drew great joy from his involvement in the Swarthmore Recreation Association, earning the 2016 “Volunteer of the Year” Award for conceiving and then leading the fundraising, planning, and building efforts that brought brand-new basketball courts to the Swarthmore-Rutledge Elementary School. He also served on the SRA board and coached countless children in SRA youth sports.
Kevin is survived by his wife Carin, their children, Andrew and Ellie, his mother Barbara Newsome, and three sisters Farraday Newsome, Allison Newsome, and Jody Newsome Mangiaratti. He will be missed tremendously by his mother-in-law Susan Pesotski, his brothers-in-law Chris and Matt Pesotski, sisters-in-law Patti Mattson and Heidi Pesotski, his nieces and nephews, and the many friends whose lives he brightened from Santa Cruz to Swarthmore.
All are invited to a Celebration of Kevin’s Life on Saturday, March 11 from 6-9 PM at the Park Avenue Community Center, 129 Park Ave. Swarthmore, PA. In lieu of flowers, friends and family may contribute to a fund supporting Andrew and Ellie’s education needs at Kevin Newsome’s Children Education Fund at https://gofund.me/ba51f22b.